Water quality dynamics in a lowland tropical catchment: the Kinabatangan river, Sabah, Malaysia

Harun, Sahana (2014). Water quality dynamics in a lowland tropical catchment: the Kinabatangan river, Sabah, Malaysia. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Spatial and temporal trends of dissolved organic matter (DOM) were investigated in the Lower Kinabatangan River, Sabah, Malaysia over the period 2008-2012. The objectives were to: i. quantify DOM in areas of the catchment dominated by oil palm plantations; ii. characterise DOM quantity and quality in waters draining three contrasting land use types (oil palm plantations, secondary forests and coastal swamps); iii. characterise and interpret DOM quantity and quality in the main stem of the Kinabatangan river according to depth; and iv. infer differences in water movement through the catchment. Optical parameters, including fluorescence excitation-emission matrices (EEMs) and ultraviolet absorbance spectroscopy (UV-vis); and Parallel Factor Analysis were used throughout the investigation. The research comprised a preliminary catchment-wide study (225 samples) and concentrated fieldwork campaigns (510 samples). The results indicated the dominance of peaks C and M in waters from the oil palm plantations and coastal swamps respectively. The relative loss of terrestrial derived peaks could indicate progressive DOM degradation from the upper reaches towards the estuary. Results also showed DOM was transported back to the main river, as dominated by fluorescence index peak A/peak C, particularly in the coastal swamps. DOM characterisation with depth in the river, showed the dominance of peaks C and M (relative to terrestrial and microbial and/or photo-degradation processes) in waters near the riverbed.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4697


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